Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A little something I've been working on...

Morning all,
Hope you all had a lovely Easter break. It was so nice to kick back, relax and enjoy the extended long weekend, and generally take it easy. I took the chance to work on my renovation/building plans, so the first port of call was my chock-a-block full inspiration folder. I actually have quite a few - some where I keep all my tear sheets, and my computer files, where I stash everything and anything that takes my fancy. I spent some time revisiting my favourites, and came across these pics of Collette Dinnigan's two gorgeous Paddington homes. I've posted about these before, but they're so lovely I couldn't resist going back for another helping.

simple, clean and just plain gorgeous

love love

all images via

Now, my home is no heritage sandstone cottage, and somehow I'm guessing my budget is somewhat more limited than Collette's, but there's plenty here that could work in any home. A restrained palette, clean lines, but a relaxed, comfortable feel at the same time. Very nice indeed, and inspiration galore, in more ways than one. More on that later!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hippity hop

Yep, Easter is definitely on its way, and here at home I've been busy organizing a few little decorations to make the break more festive.

I whipped up this little Easter egg tree - nothing too elaborate of course, just a little something to set the mood.

 source unknown - sorry

And then my good friend Martha called, and we had a little chat about what she could do to decorate her little farm.....she always likes the place to look nice, and I was only too happy to give her a few tips. That's how I roll.

My bestie - Martha

But by far the most taxing job I'll be tackling over the next few days is the yearly Easter Egg Hunt. It's a family tradition that we've carried on since the crew were babies, and in spite of the fact that they're all well into their teens, each year we hide a stash of eggs in every conceivable place throughout our two-plus acre property. That's the easy part. The hard part is making up more cryptic and clever clues every year, and finding new places to stash the eggs. 

my favourite chocolate - Haigh's. Delish

Our biggest shed is always a great place, but not sure the eggs would last too long this year....we have a visitor:

He's a carpet snake - completely harmless, although not if you're a possum...or a chook. This guy left us a little present a week or so ago - a newly shed skin. It measures 11 feet from head to tail, so he's a reasonable size. Our neighbours have lost a few of their chickens lately, including their rooster, and they found the culprit at the scene of the crime, with a suspicious rooster-shaped lump in his belly. So I'm guessing a few easter eggs wouldn't stand a chance. 

Anyhoo, I'm off to make a start on the clues. What do you guys have planned for the Easter break? Any fabulous family traditions? I'd love to hear all about them.

Happy Easter to you and yours,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Belle Bijou

This new painting has been a long time coming. Sometimes, I start four or five paintings at once, and then finish them when the mood takes me. But as bright colour has been the order of the day lately, it was nice to put the finishing touches to this piece.

'Belle Bijou'
watercolour and gouache on paper
8" x 10"
prints now available in my Etsy shop

I thought it would be fun this time to add some wallpaper to the room as well - what do you think? I'm thinking of adding another version without the wallpaper as well, for those who want to add this to their other 'Interior Portraits'.

Now that I have my internet back (for how long who knows, but I'm trying to make the most of it while it lasts) I'm planning on spending some time catching up on all my blog reading. I've missed all your news over the past few days, so I'm looking forward to reading all your posts. 

See you soon,


Saturday, April 16, 2011

A new painting sneak peek...

As I've had no internet (again) for the past few days, this post will be short and sweet. Here's a sneak peek at some new paintings I've been working on - and as you'll see, these are just a little bit different to what I've been doing lately:

'Serendipity II'
Mixed media on canvas
650mm x 850mm
sold, commissions welcome

This one is a commission I've just finished for a lovely client, who asked for bright, bright and more bright! It was so nice to work big again, with such happy colours.  More to come in these abstract works on canvas, in different colourways, so stay tuned. 

Thanks too, for your fabulous advice on our stay/move/demolish dilemma - you've all been really helpful. We're meeting with an architect friend soon to go through our options, so I'll keep you updated.

Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll see you next week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Should we stay or should we go?

It's crunch time. When we bought our home, we knew it would need renovating to make it perfect for our family. But the location, the two plus acres of land, dotted with trees and high on a hill, was the clincher. And as I mentioned in one of my very first posts, the fact that we actually swapped houses with the previous owner meant that the whole move seemed meant to be.

Fast forward a few years, and we found quite a few surprises along the way. Water tanks that needed replacing, a leaking pool, non-existent drainage plans, kids falling through the bath surround where the water had rotted the timber.....the list goes on. We've done a heap of work on the place, with a new main bathroom, painting, pool reno, kitchen revamp, but there's a lot more that needs to be done. It's the domino effect - everything we decide to tackle unearths another dozen or so problems that need to be fixed too.

My husband has finally cracked. When he announced last week that he thought we should knock the house down and rebuild, you could have blown me over. But it makes sense, as vacant land in our area (which is scarce anyway) is worth at least three times what we paid for our house. And the possibilities.....!!!! I've had my dream home brewing for years now, and it looks a lot like a combination of all of these:

love, verandahs, the lot

not quite the same view as ours, but I do love me a window seat

These next images are by my favourite architect, Walter Barda. Love the detail in every single one of his designs - simply perfect.

 Forget the decoration, but this room is gorgeous...those ceilings!

love the pocket doors - with a house full of teenagers I love the idea of shutting out all the noise and chaos 

So, has anyone demolished and rebuilt? Was it a nightmare, or have you renovated and wished you'd started from scratch? It's a big decision, and one we won't take lightly. But either way, there are changes ahead, and to me change is so exciting - can't wait!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Interactive design

Ok guys, I wonder if I could ask a favour? I'm working on some new pieces for my Etsy shop, and have a few questions for all of you design divas out there.

Remember my 'Bouquet in Flow Blue' painting? It's been one of my most popular designs, and I've had a lot of requests for more in this series. So, I have around half a dozen new paintings in the works, but need to decide on a few details before adding them to my shop. Here's a reminder:

'Bouquet in Flow Blue'
available here

So, my questions are: would you like to see more variety in flower colours in this series? Or different blue and white china, different flowers, but all in the same colour? Or maybe both? I'm leaning towards both at the moment. I've just finished one new blue and white vase, but haven't added the bouquet yet. Here's a mock-up of how some roses and peonies in orange would look:

'Blue Willow Bouquet'
a work in progress!

Any and all suggestions will be gratefully received. I've already had some lovely readers offer advice, which I've taken on board, so you'll be seeing some hydrangeas (thanks Letitia), orange flowers as requested by Judy, and more 'wild' offerings, thanks to Kerry!

So, it's over to you guys. What would you like to see? Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Friday, April 8, 2011

My paintings on Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

As if my feature in Martha Stewart Living wasn't enough, I've also been fortunate enough to have had a cameo on Kevin Sharkey's fabulous blog.

'Kevin Sharkey is Senior Vice President and Executive Editorial Director, Decorating, and Executive Creative Director, Merchandising for MSLO.' 

In other words, Kevin is a creative genius. In a nutshell. 

my blue and white Chinoiserie paintings as seen in Martha Stewart Living were also shown on Kevin's blog....

...along with my 'Bouquet in Flow Blue' as well! 

A big thank you must again go to stylist-extraordinaire Scott, who got the party started way back in December. By the way, Scott, along with some other super-stylists, has his very own blog called Canvass. This is what they have to say..."We are editors, scavengers, stylists, crafters and writers. Together we bring you a canvassing of all things amazing, lovely, cool, chic and inspiring." Couldn't have said it better myself. Here's a taste.

100% fabulous. Check it out here.

Well, that's it for me. It's the weekend and I'm going to savour every second of it. And school hols started today as well. Love it!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Not one, but ten new paintings!

Well, it's been a big week. I've packed up and sent nine originals off to the US for a very exciting project (more on that later) and I've finally finished the latest in my 'Interior Portraits' series - 'Modern Vintage'. I absolutely loved Anthropologie's Louisa Settee as soon as I laid eyes on it, and I thought it would look great teamed with a blue and white display on the wall behind. If you look closely you might notice that the china pieces are my own 'Ginger Jar' paintings (and a chinoiserie plate which I'll be sharing soon as well). A bit like art imitating art really.

'Modern Vintage'
210mm x 297mm
watercolour and gouache on paper
for sale now in my Etsy shop

And here are the nine originals, just before they were sent on their way...

I can't share the details just yet, but as soon as they arrive safe and sound and I know they're in place, I'll be back to share the details. Can't wait to tell all....patience is so not one of my virtues!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hamptons Home Living

I had a wonderful evening last night at the opening of Hamptons Home Living, a beautiful new store in Brisbane's Paddington. It's the brainchild of talented couple Luke Stringer and Tania Bailey, and combines the most gorgeous homewares, furniture, food and coffee in the one stylish package. Think whitewashed walls, rattan furniture, ceramics in every colour of the rainbow....I could go on for ever. I did manage to take a few snaps last night, although photos were the last thing on my mind amongst so many delicious morsels!

beautiful tableware + coral....they had me at hello

 colourful ceramics, gorgeous Bungalow napery from The Brown Trading Co. (so nice to finally meet the lovely Keren in person!) and Murchison Hume goodies galore. They also stock Judy's stunning Verandah House range of rattan furniture.

Thanks must go to Luke and Tania for a fantastic night - they're such gracious hosts, and I know their new business will be a huge success. I'm looking forward to my next visit, and I'm thinking it will be the perfect place for a 'business meeting' or two. Btw, Tania mentioned she was thinking of starting her own blog, to share their journey of getting this new venture off the ground in record time (and stunning results!). Can't wait to read all about it!


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